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The heart and soul of our community
“If we didn’t go to Carols, it would be like there wasn’t any Christmas” – Paul Worsnop, Volunteer
The Worsnops are a family with a wealth of spirit, nurtured by boundless generosity. They give because they want to, and they expect nothing in return. Volunteers like these are the heart and soul of our community.
Lifelong volunteer, Paul Worsnop, is a catalyst of continuing the family tradition of volunteering at Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight. This year, Paul and his older brother Christopher will celebrate 45 years since the Worsnop family took over the running of one of the merchandise stalls, with their parents and grandmother.
Left to right: James, Pete Smith, Paul, Christopher, Samuel, John, Sandy, Katherine, Nathan
The Worsnop team now consists of 10 volunteers ranging in age from 60 years to 12 months old, comprising children, siblings, in-laws, nieces, nephews and grandchildren, so the team always has plenty of support. “It’s part of our upbringing, and as we get older, we continue to encourage the younger generation to pay it forward.”
“The gift that Vision Australia has given to Melbourne and Australia over the years, is returned not only by the generous giving to the cause of Vision Australia, but the community’s growing understanding of what it means to be blind or have low vision,” adds Paul.
Incredible volunteers like the Worsnops are so vital in bringing the event to life, and we can’t thank them enough!
09 Nov 2018
Carols like you’ve never heard it…
The Vision Australia Radio Network is once again proudly supporting Carols by Candlelight in 2018. Incorporating ten community radio stations across Victoria, southern New South Wales, Adelaide and Perth, as well as five digital radio services, VAR has a range of wonderful content across a range of interesting and informative programs.
Each year the audio described version of Carols by Candlelight is streamed online and broadcast live across the Vision Australia Radio Network, but did you know it’s also available for attendees at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl?
Audio description offers people who are blind or have low vision an understanding of what is happening visually within a theatre, television, film, DVD, museum, exhibition or other arts-related productions. It is an additional narration that succinctly paints an image of transitions, movements, gestures, props, settings, costumes and scenery woven between the dialogue.
We can’t wait to tune in to the upcoming Carols by Candlelight feature episodes, as well as the remarkable experience that is audio description. Whether you’re listening from home, at the event, or on-the-go, Vision Australia Radio is the perfect way to bring an audio experience of Carols to life, with all of the magic of the stage verbally described by a team of experts so you won’t miss a moment of the spectacle.
Interested in making the most of the fantastic offering, as well as accessing an exclusive VIP experience? Register your interest in audio description by entering your details here.
09 Nov 2018
The best Christmas Eve in town!
Carols by Candlelight is the perfect way to spend your Christmas Eve - here’s why.
The festive season is fast approaching and parents everywhere are wondering how they’re going to keep their kids calm during the Christmas Eve hype. Well, there’s no need to stress…
Carols by Candlelight has been a classic part of the Aussie Christmas experience since its inception in 1938. Here’s why it’s the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit!
It distracts the kids
No night of the year is as exciting for the kids as Christmas Eve. What’s Santa going to bring? Will he make it? What if he gets stuck in the chimney? Carols keep that excitement in check and play to that love of Christmas.
A picnic, classic Christmas songs and an evening out will keep the kids busy, and there are plenty of other activities available in our Christmas Festival. From the moment the gates open, there’ll be plenty of excitement and fun, and the best part is, the kids will doze off to sleep in a heartbeat when you get home!
Christmas is about family, and Carols is the perfect way to make sure you get quality time with your loved ones before the New Year hits and everyone has to head back to work. Bring the whole crew down for the perfect gathering on the lawn.
It's about giving
Christmas is all about giving, and so is Carols! The event raises vital funds and awareness for Vision Australia. Their children’s services support kids who are blind or have low vision to help them live the life they choose. Every dollar makes a huge difference, and this year, we’ll be making Christmas even brighter! Keep an eye out for your chance to make an impact.
No matter the year, the Carols line-up means the songs themselves are beautiful. From the famous Denis Walter, who has been performing at Carols for more than 30 years, to new sensations like Anthony Callea, the performers on the show will have you singing your heart out.
What are you waiting for?
Book your tickets now!
Sign up for the Carols Club
29 Oct 2018
Behind the scenes at Carols
December might seem far away, but here at Carols by Candlelight HQ, we’re preparing something extraordinary. When our community comes together on Christmas Eve, we’ll light our candles to support kids who are blind or low vision to live the life they choose. And with only a couple of months to go, we’re busy planning a truly magical evening.
So what fills a typical October day for the Carols team?
Team meetings on the priorities across marketing, artwork, logistics, sponsorship, media and communications.
Taking our office dog for a training walk. Reggie is a Seeing Eye Dog in training, and a crucial part of the team.
Meeting potential new sponsors to discuss the exciting activities they can help us with
Talking about ticketing with our friends over at Ticketmaster.
Checking our supplies of glow sticks, candles, and candle holders.
Marching around the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to find the best lawn spot and a million other tasks to bring us closer to Christmas!
We can’t wait to tell you all about the wonderful plans we have for December 24th at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. Keep your eyes open for our updates on tickets, competitions, and the latest news on all things Carols. We’ll be making Christmas brighter than ever!
14 Sep 2018
Carols through the years
Carols has a fantastic rich history that spans over 80 years! Here are some of our favourite snippets from the early years of this wonderful Christmas festival.
While Norman Banks is known as the driving force behind the creation of Carols by Candlelight, it was his secretary, Dot Dawson, who coined the iconic event name.
The proceeds of Carols during the years of World War 2 were shared between the Red Cross and the Comforts Fund, supporting Australian soldiers both returned and abroad.
In 1943, greetings from Lord Mayors across the world – including London, Ottawa, Capetown, Wellington, and even New York – were broadcast to crowds at Alexandra gardens during the event.
1949 saw the first major international spin-off, with a Carols by Candlelight event taking place in England. The Melbourne organisers sent a package of candles and sticks as a gesture of well-wishes.
In 1956, Carols was broadcast by television station GTV9 via three cameras – and expected to reach as far as Ararat, 160 miles away from transmission!
For a number of years through the 1950s, a parade of torch bearers would proceed through the grounds before the performances began. They were typically young women dressed in white flowing gowns.
Do you have a fascinating fact about the history of Carols by Candlelight? You can contact us to share your stories!
14 Sep 2018